Caroline Lucas backs The Extra Time Project

When a child starts struggling to school, it can sometimes be very difficult to stop a rapid downward spiral. So it’s very exciting to see a pioneering project in Brighton had Hove which is making a real difference for young people.

The Extra Time Project has been set up by the Russell Martin Foundation, a charity which works with children through sport, education and opportunity. It’s been working with KS3 pupils in mainstream schools in the city since September. Over a 12-week course, they continue with the usual curriculum in subjects like Maths, English and Science. But they also receive one-to-one social and emotional support. And it’s already having such an impact.

Don’t take my word for it. The feedback from those who were on the course in the autumn term says it all.

“Thank you for believing in me”.  
“Thank you for helping me through this time”.  
“The staff are strict but give me clear choices about my behaviour and keeping on at me really has helped”.

The parents too are equally appreciative. One of them said the support given to her child “had helped them beyond words”.

Tom Betts, the project manager, told me about one of the pupils who’d been helped. They were struggling with school and life in general, with a mum who was severely ill. It was hard for them to focus, so time-keeping and their schoolwork and behaviour were all deteriorating. In other circumstances, they might have ended up in a pupil referral unit or on a downward spiral to under-achievement.

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